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Relationship Reflection

Relationships are important to me because it gives me someone to relate to and spend time with. My friends and family love me unconditionally and I them. We take care of one another and have the other’s back. Without the relationships in my life, I would be lonely, hopeless, brokenhearted…etc…

My friend Catalina is one the people in my life that has a positive influence on me. She cares about me, and never lies to me. She gives me the honest truth and wants to see me happy. Whenever I feel sad or down about my self, I can talk to her or spend time with her and she makes me feel better.

In order for a relationship to be positive, both people need to give and take. It cannot be one sided. When only one person in a relationship does all the giving, it does not last long. It is only when both people are willing to do their share that the relationship grows and is long lasting.

One of the challenges of maintaing a relationship is finding time in one’s busy life to keep up with the other person and remain present in their life. I am very guilty of this. I get so tied up in my own life between school, and work and family and just trying to get some time to myself that I don’t take the time to keep up with my friends and what is going on in their lives. Then, I wonder why my friends don’t call me or ask me to do something with them.

Over the years I have learned that if I am not an active participant in my relationships, they do not last and I am not happy. Because of this, it has made me recognize what it takes to maintain relationships and make me better at my job. I know that if I am going to have the people I work with trust me, I need to be there for them, listen when they talk to me, and be an active participant in the work relationship.

When I think of Child Development…

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
― Albert Einstein

I want to personally thank a few of my colleagues, Brianna Kress, Chasity Rickards, and Michelle Gandner, for taking the time to not only read my blog but comment on them as well. It really appreciate you all taking the time to do so. I look forward to continuing our educational journey together and wish nothing but the best for all of you.

Thank you,
Melinda

Testing for Intelligence?

Assessment of IQ is a tricky subject because there are two ways of looking at it. If we, the U.S. are committed to “the whole child” then, IQ is really irrelevant. If we truly care about every aspect of a child, not just intelligence then why test for intelligence. Children should be healthy and part of being healthy is feeling good about who they are. When a child is tested early and does not perform well on an IQ test for whatever the reason, e.g., they come from a different culture, language barriers, test anxiety, can suffer damage to their self esteem and not ever do good in school and/or life. Also, if a child is tested at a young age and if found to be below average, less will be expected of them. But, what if their intelligence changes? What if, when they grow and mature they are found to actually be of above average intelligence? The brain is an amazing organ and plasticity is a phenomenon where the brain compensates for deficits and is the lifelong ability of the brain to reorganize neural pathways based on new experiences.

 

On the other end of this debate is being able to teach children on their level so they are enriched and not grow bored with their education. If a child is not being challenged there is a chance he/she will begin to act out and not take their education seriously. The problem is, intelligence tests can be culturally biased and only produce a single number that may or may not truly represent that person’s true ability to learn.

 

The education system in Germany is different than the U.S. They have different levels of education based on the student’s performance in the first four years of school (ages 6 to 10), which is elementary, or Grundschule, what they want to do as an adult and the parent’s wishes of schools they want their child to attend. After the first four years, the child is tested and based on their test scores; they may or may not be allowed to attend the school of their choice. Next, they will either attend Hauptschule (job training schools which go to 9th or 10th grade), Realschule (go through 10th grade and learn a skill or can go to college for limited subjects e.g. as nurses, social workers, technicians, mid-level supervisors and managers.), Gymnasium (prepares them for university) or Gesamtschule (a comprehensive school and after 11th grade can transfer to a Gymnasium).

 

I had friends that were German citzens who lived in the U.S. and their children began their education in the U.S. but when they moved back to Germany their youngest child had to repeat first grade and the older child who started the fifth grade was only allowed to attend a Gymnasium on a contingency that she be retested yearly to continue her education there or have to move to either a Hauptschule or Realschule. Their reasoning was because the U.S. education system is not as superior as German education system. 

Childhood Stressors

For this blog I have to talk about stressors in childhood. The only really big stressor from my childhood would have to be when my big sister developed epilepsy from a car accident we had one summer. Because of a brain injury, she began to have grand mal seizures. When she began having them, I stopped sleeping much for nearly two years because I was worried she would have a seizure while I was sleeping because she nearly always had them at night. I guess in my young mind I thought that if I stayed awake, she would be fine. I never told anyone that I was staying up, I just did. She snored in her sleep so as long as I could hear her snore I knew she was okay. Looking back, I wish I had confided in someone because first of all, I lost a lot of sleep and my schoolwork suffered and I was very skinny. I could not eat when I worried.  I still care that anxiety that if my loved ones are not safe at home I don’t sleep. I worry until I know they are home, even when my oldest son did not live at home, he knew to let me know he was okay or I would worry.

 

The fact that I worried so much about my sister, I was loosing a lot of sleep and cognitively I was not at my best in school and so my schoolwork suffered. I guess it did not suffer enough for my parents to worry too much about me but I remember not being able to concentrate in school because I was so tired. Biosocially, I lost weight and I did not have any to loose. I was a skinny child but during these years, I became very skinny. I finally, began to sleep more and worry less as my sister stopped having seizures as much once they got her medication right and after awhile she quite having them at all. This was over about a six-years. Even though it was my sister who was having medical issues and I never said anything to my parents about how I felt, it was still a difficult time in my life. Looking back I should have said something and not tried to be my sister’s protector. That is what parents are for and kids should not have to assume this role. Unfortunately, this was back before computers and Internet; a time when information was much more difficult to obtain. This day and age it is much easier for even fairly young kids to find out about just about anything.

For a good resource on childhood stressors you can go to:http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/pub-res/pdf/childhood_stress.pdf

 

Nutrition/malnutrition

Nutrition/malnutrition

 

The 21st century has brought us all kinds of exciting new things from computers that will fit in our hands to advances in medical technologies such as MRI as a diagnostic tool.  Yet, it seems that nutrition seems to be worse than 30 years ago. We pay extra for “organic” foods because our foods are being genetically modified to yield more and last longer but they are killing us.

 

Because foods are being genetically engineered, more can be grown and so the costs of many foods are cheaper. This has increased the rise of fast foods and prepared foods and they are cheap. McDonald’s, Sonic and other fast food restaurants have dollar menus and it is much cheaper and easier to buy frozen pizzas, corn dogs and other tasty foods than make salads, and cooks healthy meals. More and more kids are growing up on fast food because our lives have become so busy and it is a cheap easy meal that parents know their kids are going to eat without complaint. The consequences to this are kids that are malnourished and overweight. The worse our economy gets the worse nutrition seems to be. I work with autistic children and there has been talk, and some inconclusive studies that link genetically engineered food and autism. For more on this go here:

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/autism

 

This may be part of the problem in combination with genetics and environmental factors. If this is the case, more and more children are going to be diagnosed with autism. Currently 1 in 88 children are diagnosed and it is a very difficult disorder to treat and many autistic people will never live independent lives. This is heartbreaking to me! I would LOVE to be out of a job because a cure for autism is found but until then we need to look at ALL the scenarios and do our best to avoid possible antecedents.

 

Nutrition has always been an issue around the world, especially in developing countries such as many African nations.  With climate changes, there is more draught and floods than ever before causing malnutrition become rampant!  An article from LCU goes more in-depth on this subject. To read, go here:

http://www.lsu.edu/faculty/jwither/Essays/Health/DiMario_Essay.html

 

We need to be aware of the issues with GE foods and make eating healthy a priority. The problem I see with our society is that we would rather have the latest technology or live in the biggest house and nutrition seems to be far down on our list of priorities! But if we don’t start being more aware of what we put in our mouths, we aren’t going to live long enough to enjoy all the advances in technology and have a long healthy life.

What do they mean by Code of Ethics?

Any organization worth being a part of has a “code of ethics” that helps it members to all be on the same page as it were. I have read many codes of ethics, e.g. APA code of ethical conduct and ACA code of ethics. Now that I am in the Early Childhood profession there is a new code of ethics. The codes of ethics in early childhood are much shorter and less technical than those of psychology and counseling but no less important. After reading over some of the codes I have navigate more towards the NAEYC code of ethical conduct. Among some of the many ideals I can relate to, here are but a few: 

  • 1-3A.1 – To establish and maintain relationships of respect, trust, confidentiality, collaboration and cooperation with coworkers. *I have many jobs over the course of my life and if I did not have a good relationship with my co-workers, I did not enjoy my job and my work suffered. In early childhood, it would be the children who suffer.
  • 1-3A.2 – To share resources with coworkers, collaborating to ensure that the best possible early childhood care and education program is provided. * This is especially important to me since I am new to the early childhood profession. 
  • 1-3B.1 – To assist the program in providing the highest quality of service. * This is especially important to me since I am working with children with autism. What we do makes a huge difference in their lives. 
  • 1-4..4 – To work through education, research and advocacy toward a society in which all young children have access to high-quality early care and education programs. 

These are just a few of the ideals in this code of ethics but it does not mean that these are the only ones I believe in. It would be very beneficial to anyone who is interested in the early childhood profession. 

Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night.

~ Marian Wright Edelman

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